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Constitutional Court probes why KPK bill got speedy treatment

first_imgIt took the House, notorious for its poor legislative productivity, just 13 working-days from the time the bill was submitted to the time it was endorsed. The move provoked massive demonstrations in Jakarta, tinged with violence, as protesters said the House was conspiring with the government to kill the KPK. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo met with a group of activists that month, saying he would not sign the bill into law and that when the bill would automatically become law without his signature after one month, he would consider issuing an executive order to annul it.He never did.Six groups have sent different petitions to the court demanding the law be annulled. They represent former commissioners of the antigraft agency, activists, university lecturers and students. They took different angles, some claiming the legislative process was flawed, others raised problems with the substance of the new law. Topics : The Constitutional Court is questioning why the House of Representatives gave the bill to reform the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), which was widely opposed by the public, a reading-speed record in September.The court, which is hearing a petition from seven different groups to revoke the law, asked the House on Monday to provide the recording of the House’s deliberations, the full transcripts and the attendance list of House members.The new law came into effect in October, rendering the commission ineffective without independence and without the tools it once had in fighting graft. The new law created a new layer above the commission, called the supervisory council, with the power to veto.center_img The court, the last hope to save the old KPK, decided to hear all seven petitions at once, looking at the procedure and the substance of the legislation.On Monday, judge Wahiduddin Adams, a member of the six-judge panel, expressed skepticism about how the House could have completed the bill in 13 days.“If lawmakers had worked day and night, it is fine,” he told the hearing attended by representatives of the petitioners and lawyers of the government and the House.The court would also look into how much public consultation the House engaged in while deliberating over the bill, including whether it consulted the commissioners of the antigraft agency.Wahiduddin questioned why President Jokowi did not sign the bill into law, which he saw as an anomaly.  “The President had promised to review the bill. What happened? The government should explain it to the public,” he said.He noted that the last time this happened was in 2003 when then president Megawati Soekarnoputri refused to sign a bill on advocacy. In 2002, Megawati also refused to sign a broadcasting bill.On the substance of the new law, the panel of judges questioned the role of the new supervisory council that it said overlaps with the work of the police and the Attorney General’s Office, which also investigate corruption cases.Agus Hariadi, the lawyer representing the government, said the new law complied with the United Nations Convention against Corruption treaty. Representing the House, Arteria Dahlan denied the petitioners’ claim of a lack of public consultation in deliberating over the bill, pointing out that the discussions went as far back as 2008.Arteria questioned the legal standing of all seven groups of plaintiffs in filing the petitions with the court since their work had no direct relation to the new law.“While we respect every citizen’s right, we should respect the sanctity of the court. Only petitioners who have legal standing and qualified material should be allowed,” he said.A lawyer for one of the petitioners, Saor Siagiana, however, said any citizen had the legal right to oppose the new law “because corruption affects us all”. (mfp)last_img read more

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Madejski raises doubt over wage controls

first_img Reading abstained in February’s vote allowing it to be passed by 13 votes to six, and Madejski made it clear wage controls were the issue that concerned his club. He said: “I don’t think it would work. It is a very complex situation. It would be very difficult to make it stick. It is difficult to enforce. There always seems to be a way of overcoming it. “I am reasonably ambivalent and I feel clubs should be allowed to do what they want. “When you start handcuffing anything it leads to division. “I don’t know what the latest edict in terms of what we are voting for. We will decide then. We are not intransigent about anything. We will talk it over, then we will decide.” The affect of the financial controls should prevent hugely wealthy owners achieving the almost-overnight success of Chelsea and Manchester City. Any club breaching the rules will face tough sanctions – and Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has said they would be pushing for points deductions. Press Association Reading chairman John Madejski has claimed wage controls will be difficult to enforce in the Premier League ahead of a key vote on spending restraints in England’s top flight on Thursday.center_img The 20 club chairmen agreed by the narrowest majority to bring in two significant controls – to limit players’ wage bills from next season, and longer-term measures that will restrict the amount of losses clubs can make to £105million over three years. The detailed rules will be presented to the chairmen where there is likely to be pressure to change the proposals of wage controls. These state clubs whose total wage bill is more than £52million will only be allowed to increase their wages by £4million per season for the next three years, though that cap does not cover extra money coming in from increases in commercial or matchday income. last_img read more